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The perfect GTD management solution

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  • The perfect GTD management solution

    Started to GTD a few month ago using paper just to get a feel if this was a method for me. It was !
    Didn't follow the recommendation to make a complete core dump of my brain and all my information sources into "the system" immediately but
    instead started slowly. After some time the conversion into GTD went exponentially fast and now I have almost everything in the system.
    I work as a service manager and the reason for me to take the step to GTD was simply that I lost control over my projects and my self (beyond 10,000).
    I had several sources with project info, a mailbox over its limits, creative notes everywhere and when I finaly got even more applications/services to handle I realized
    that I needed a system/methodology/workflow to follow to be able to handle it all.
    The paper based system was not my bag due to rewrites, no sorting/filtering/etc capabilities and no fun ;=) (I fully respect those who love paper systems!)
    Went to Excel/outlook but that was not a good solution and everything just stop working !
    Some weeks ago I started to look for a better system (HW/SW) and this is now driving me crazy. I can't decide !!!
    Right now everything has stopped. I can't work, I can't get anything done at all, my energylevel has dropped bellow zero and my stress factor is way to high !
    What system should I use ?

    -The SW should support GTD and F/C.
    -The system should be used primary for GTD+F/C management, telephone is not a requirement nor is mail.
    -The device (pda/smartphone) should be the base not the PC.
    -Want to be able to do editing and input from both PC and PDA.
    -Big screen (320x480, >2,5") to get a good overview.
    -Don't want to involve outlook. This is for mail not GTD management.
    -Online solutions (nozbe)? My first reaction is NOT ! Don't want the restriction to be connected all the time.

    Palm TX:
    -Ehhh. Is palmOS still around ??! Will they be gone soon ?
    -Unbelievable 15 category limit !
    -I have a very old Palm V and the built-in applications is just not enough for serious GTD management
    -Is there other good SW ?
    -It IS a cool device.

    Nokia E71:
    - Greate phone stuff but useless GTD manager (I am told).

    -Very uncommon in Sweden so I don't know much about this platform.
    -Should I wait for the "Storm" and use ToDoMatrix ? Is this a killer combination ?

    SonyEricsson Xperia X1:
    -Windows mobile. -Ehh. Just don't feel right. Don't know why.

    Symbian devices:
    -Is there any GTD SW at all ?

    HTC touch pro, iPhone, Android G1.

    I just give up !

    If you have been reading all this please make a post on what system you are using and any reflection that come in mind.
    I'm not after the perfect solution but a solution that works.

    System less

  • #2
    I use paper (and it works very well) so I won't add my 2 cents.


    • #3
      K.I.S.S. = Keep It Simple (Seriously)

      Merlin Mann addressed this old chestnut of a problem very well - over three years ago:

      Watch out 'cause Im in in the swift kick in the pants/cuff you in the back of the head mode...

      There are two things that prevent me from answering your question directly:
      (1) I believe the problem lies with your focus on tools and not workflow processing. (2) My hybrid system will not work for you - based on your ideas of paper, Palm TX and outlook.

      Simply put - There is no perfect system, get over it.

      You want proof? Read through every post here in the "Gears Gadgets & Gizmos" part of the board. There is no one here on these boards who has a static, perfect system. Look at the responses, noone has ever fully adopted anyone else's system. I also beleive that no one will ever tout that thier system is the perfect one - let alone for anyone else.

      There will never be a single set of tools that will cover the myriad of environments/contexts that you will find yourself on a daily basis. That's why many systems, including mine, tend to be a hybrid. I simply view the tool as a means to get an stuff out of my head into a place that I can return to and process later on.

      Change your focus. Stop setting your expectations of a system so high. Focus on the successful outcomes of your project and the next action needed to get there. Does the success of the dinner party really, really, depend on whether the task, "Call the caterer with the final menu." was written in a Moleskine, 3x5 card or on a iBook or piece of paper? Will you feel better if you used your iTouch, Waterman fountain pen, or crayon to enter/draft the menu, phone number and task - or will your feel even better once the phone call has been made and the caterer knows the menu?

      I'm saying that the incremental joys of entering stuff and processing them in a beautiful system are far outweighed by the feeling of success and accomplishement of a completed task and project.

      As the Black Belts on this board have learned and stated, GTD is a set of habits not tools. GTD will allow you to focus since your system has all the other stuff you are not working on - at that moment. You need the tools to capture and organize your stuff but thats all they do - they dont get actions done, you do that. What makes my system work is the habits of workflow processing I've slowly developed.

      You've lost a trust in any/all of your capture-organizing systems and your are keeping all your committments in your head. You should be stressed - who would not be in the same situation?

      Looking for the perfect capturing/processing/organizing system will not relieve the stress of worflow processing. You will still need to review and do those next actions.

      Dont let this happen. Get your stuff out of your head and into the most trustworthy and simplest system you have on hand - within budget. Then get things done.


      • #4
        Nokia E71?

        Originally posted by Mikael View Post
        Nokia E71: Greate phone stuff but useless GTD manager (I am told).
        I understand that this opinion was expressed by long time GTD practitioner who had implemented GTD using E71 features and was not happy. Could you please specify what difficulties were found by this expert?

        In my opinion E71 has good calendar, notes manager, voice recorder, web browser, e-mail client and powerful search function so you can implement GTD off- or on-line.


        • #5

          I think the problem was that the platform didn't support syncing categories.
          Do you do GTD on E71 and have you solved that problem ?


          • #6
            Wrong focus

            As ‘Sensei’ Instigase pointed out my focus is completely wrong.
            I realize that now after reading your post (thank you) and also reading the Merlin Mann link !
            I was so up to finding a good system so everything else just did a major shutdown, since there is a lot of “Gear, Gadgets, Software, and Toys” out there.
            Of course I still think, but not focus on, that I need a ‘support system’ for organizing, planning and reviewing but as someone wrote on the Merlin Mann link use the concept of “Shu-Ha-Ri”.
            Taken from his site:
            “Shu, basically entails rote learning, without asking questions. Just do it the way that has been shown.
            The second stage, Ha, entails personalizing the system. Modifying it without changing the core principles to suit your individual strengths and weaknesses.
            The third stage, Ri, is a natural progression where one develops their own “style within a style”, deeply studying the core principles and modifying them where appropriate to suit your own process.”

            As I am probably still in the Shu stage I will just grab myself in the neck and keep to Excel/paper and just Do things.
            (But I really liked the Palm TX. Maybe I should get one anyway


            • #7

              Yes, I do like my Palm TX.


              • #8
                Nokia E71 is part of the solution.

                Originally posted by Mikael View Post
                I think the problem was that the platform didn't support syncing categories.
                Do you do GTD on E71 and have you solved that problem ?
                I do not synchronize my Nokia E71 with any desktop program. I upload (from the desktop system to this smartphone) html and text files containing my lists and any other information.


                • #9
                  If you looking for good SW with lot of categories and for the use on PDA and Desktop then try MLO .
                  SW is being continuously developed. You can also check their forum.



                  • #10
                    GTD for E71

                    For the couple of guys who were discussing E71 here's a nifty solution. You can find some info in another thread


                    • #11
                      As everyone says there is no perfect tool for implementing gtd and they are correct ,it depends upon what you had like.

                      I am a big patron of technology and don't like paper based system because I personally feel it's difficult to follow , but that's just me.

                      For blackberry you don't need storm , any blackberry manufactured in last 2 years (8520,8900,9000,9700,bold 2) will do fine, I personally have used todomatrix and I am very very very happy with it, recent version allows syncing with outlook as well ,so if you want outlook tasks , you can use them as well.

                      i am in the process of teaching my dad how to use it .. would advise you to take demo of it as well.